1. Know Thyself and Know Thy Challenges.
Intermittent fasting requires control and restriction during fasting periods. If you are prone to disordered eating or eating disorders, IF could act as a trigger for unhealthy behaviors. Be very careful about trying IF if you think you might use it as an excuse for ongoing or overly restrictive calorie consumption.
2. Keep Training.
The IF studies performed on humans in relation to body composition, muscle mass and athletic performance indicate that intermittent fasting produces the best results when done in conjunction with strength training.
You’re more likely to reduce body fat percentage and maintain or improve muscle mass when you exercise and fast together (although not necessarily on the same days).
3. Eat Well When You’re Not Fasting.
One of the big challenges of a fasting diet is the inclination to over-consume during non-fasting periods. While you don’t necessarily need to count calories or restrict food intake when you’re not fasting, you should prioritize eating healthy, whole foods.
If you counteract your fast with a day of overzealous bingeing on highly processed sugars, you may not see the changes or benefits associated with intermittent fasting.
4. Ease Your Way In.
Intermittent fasting, ultimately, is a lifestyle change. But there’s no reason you can’t give it a test run to see if it’s an approach you’re comfortable with.
Try a single, 24-hour fast to see how it feels, or follow a week of partial day fasting with an 8-hour eating window between 11am and 7pm or 12pm and 8pm. If you find the experience tolerable, consider following an ongoing plan.
5. Grit Not Grits.
This is a big one. Understand that unless you’re someone who never gets hungry early in the day, the first 3 to 6 weeks are going to suck. You’ll experience hunger pangs during this initial periods, and your main tool to get through it is going to be grit.
Consider it a personal challenge that you’re taking on. You’ll notice that as the weeks go by, your body will adapt and you’ll slowly begin to only experience hunger later in the day. Your body is incredibly intelligent.
As long as you give it the time to adapt, you’ll easily reset your homeostatic rhythm (the body’s natural rhythm) to eating later in the day.
6. Black Coffee Helps.
To get the benefits of skipping breakfast, you don’t need to skip out on your morning coffee. Coffee acts as an appetite suppressant and will make your morning a lot less difficult when you’re first getting started.
7. Stay Busy.
Take this newfound chunk of time and put it to good use; completely immerse yourself in something. That immersion and potential flow you enter is going to divert your attention away from any cravings you experience. This is more important than you may imagine. Don’t let yourself get bored. Stay engaged and use your mornings to complete your most energy-intensive tasks.
8. Hydrating Helps.
A lot of what we perceive to be hunger can actually be attributed to dehydration. Use this window of time where you’re not eating to get uber hydrated for the day. I recommend drinking half your bodyweight in ounces of water each day (at minimum). Try to get in as much water as possible during the a.m.
9. Accept That You’re Going to Be The Weird Friend.
And so fucking what? You’re working towards becoming the best version of yourself. Skipping breakfast is a minor choice that doesn’t affect anyone else. If someone has a problem with it and continues to express it, then it’s due to a deeper insecurity on their end, not yours.
10. Let Yourself Off the Hook.
From time to time, you might go out to brunch with friends, and you’re welcome to take a day every week or two to have breakfast and indulge your eggs benedict cravings. Diverging from the no breakfast club 10% of the time isn’t going to offset all the benefits you’re receiving from the others days of skipping breakfast.
11. Create Leverage.
I can list all the benefits to why skipping breakfast is going to make your life better, but at the end of the day, whether or not you’re successful in the first few weeks will come down to willpower. Humans are 10 times more likely to take action in order to avoid pain than to gain pleasure. It’s just how we’re hardwired.
Use this to your advantage; tell yourself that if you break your fast more than once a week, then something awful is going to happen. I use leverage for everything in my life when I want to create healthy habits and get rid of unhealthy ones.
I recommend you think of something that will motivate you substantially, be it an awful exercise or burning a stack of money, and use that as leverage to get yourself to follow through. Make yourself do 300 burpees or make a donation to a cause that you don’t support.